September 09, 2003

Believe it or not, I like to watch football, both professional and collegiate. I don’t watch very often and I don’t follow the seasons with any particular interest or enthusiasm. I just like to watch now and then.

I’ve never had a favorite N.F.L. team. My father and a couple of my brothers are New York Giants fans (with some residual, if not merely nostalgic, support for the Baltimore Colts before they moved in the middle of the night to, what was it, South Dakota or something?), just as they are New York Yankees fans, so, in my comparative ignorance, that was usually good enough for me.

Since settling in Philadelphia I’ve taken an interest in the Eagles. Not a fanatical interest, mind you: No season tickets -- I think you have to have someone in your family who knew Benjamin Franklin, or at least Frank Rizzo, to have those at this point -- and no reading reams of copy in the newspapers about next week’s game, an exercise that starts on Tuesday and ends on Sunday morning, but at least an interest.

Nonetheless, of course I had to watch last night’s game: Philadelphia vs. the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a rematch of last year’s N.F.C. conference title game, and the first N.F.L. game to be played in the city’s new stadium, Lincoln Financial Field.

On T.V., and, yes, in a bar. A gay bar, no less. (Yes, such things occur, and with greater frequency, and larger attendance, than you might think.)

All in all, it was a pretty disappointing experience. And I say that not just because the Eagles lost to Tampa Bay again.

I say that because “Monday Night Football” is an atrocity, from the commentators, to the sexist and moronic advertisements, to the hyperactive commercialism that extends from the stadium itself (“The Chrysler-Jeep Gate”? “The Mercedes-Benz VIP Gate”?) to the replays “Sponsored by Visa,” and, particularly, to one Lisa Guerrero.

My God, Lisa, what the hell were you wearing last night? That dress! It’s so last year. And the color? Two years ago. Powder blue? In September? And that sort-of belt thing around swathed or tied around your neck? Don’t you have a best friend who will pull you aside before the show and say, “No way, girl!” And where did you do your make-up? In the cosmetics aisle at Rite-Aid?

What a disaster.


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